SR: A Bug's Life was the second movie from Disney Pixar. How did you build off the success of Toy Story? Were you worried about a sophomore slump?

JL: That's a very good point. Steve Jobs, who was then the CEO of Pixar, he was so worried about the sophomore slump. He talked to us at length about the history of you name it—businesses, pop groups, filmmakers—where they have a huge success for the first one and then they have a dud. He was very worried about our second movie because during Toy Story, which took four years to make, no one knew us. No one knew who we were. Then the movie came out and it was the number one movie of the year, and then everybody was excited about it and blown away by it and it was kind of like that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid thing everyone was like, "Who are those guys?" But then at the same time we went public, and it was the most successful IPO of that year, and it was kind of like we were making a movie in a fishbowl. There was all this pressure with stockholders and a lot of worry about the sophomore slump, but we just learned from the first one and we refined. We had a real faith in ourselves, and we decided we wanted to make this a bigger movie. We called it "an epic of miniature proportions." We took a look at the insect world, and we found that at that level, it's like living in a world where everything is a stained-glass window. Everything is organic in the natural world, where things in Toy Story were pretty much geometric. By doing things organically, everything looked so beautiful, especially in the wide-screen format. I think still to this day it's the most beautiful movie we've created.


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